Koga Miyata Chela: the Touring Trailer Deluxe
We will not apologize for the recent proliferation of bike trailer news here at Treehugger. With the eco-and health benefits that bicycles contribute to society, their sustainability is such that one can endorse ownership of a collection. Just as a touring bike and a city bike (that's the one so rusty that stealing it just doesn't come to mind) seem to be a minimal outfitting, ownership of the Leggero max for day-to-day chores doesn't rule out acquiring the new Koga Miyata Chela (...would like to insert noun here but what do you call that thing? "trailer" seems insufficient; perhaps "modular comfort carry-along" or "mobility enhancer"?)
"Chela" means "disciple" in Tibetan (we have to believe Koga on this one, babelfish doesn't do Tibetan). The design follows the BOB Ibex in suspended one-wheel philosophy, but the similarity about stops there. The Chela has a built-in chair and table, a telescoping stand (suitable for use as a tri-pod, safety flag, lamp holder, etc.), and even solar panels on the day-pack. Since they promise you can keep your GPS or mobile phone in form, we are guessing that the solar collectors suffer a problem still common in this field: not enough energy can be generated to charge a laptop.
The alloy framed trailer weighs in at 10 kg (22 lbs.), compared to Bob Ibex at 7.7 kg (17 lbs.) and the bags add an additional 2.6 kg (5.7 lbs.) A total of 78L (2.75 cu.ft) capacity is available, but with a maximum weight of 30kg, one must be prepared to invest in all the newest, lightest gear to pack it with. However, if you are considering laying out 800€, the retail price for this luxury bike touring extravaganza, you probably already own all that stuff.
As a BOB Yak owner whose loving other half is constantly threatening to take up titanium welding (probably in our living room, since space is limited in our flat) due to a firmly held belief that next to a toothbrush the most important camping item is a chair and table (and who hasn't come in after a day's ride and felt the same?), the Chela seems to answer a real market demand. And the Chela can probably be tuned to lose a little tonnage without the welding gear.